Saturday, March 25, 2006

Lost's Secrets....Revealed.

Fellow Lost junkies know that recent episodes have included the character of Henry Gale, who may be a fellow Island crashlandee, and may be one of the mysterious "Others." What no one seems to have noticed, however, is a third, more sinister option. "Henry Gale" is, in fact, neither fellow crash survivor, nor mysterious Other. He is, in fact.....a ring-tailed lemur.






Bush League Giving

Big ups to Andrew Sullivan, who ran this initially.

From the Houston Chronicle:

As Barbara Bush spent two hours championing her son's software company at a Houston middle school Thursday morning, a watchdog group questioned whether the former first lady should be allowed to channel a donation to Neil Bush's Ignite Learning company through Houston's Hurricane Katrina relief fund.....

She gave specific instructions that part of the money be sent to the Scottish Space School Foundation. She asked that group, in turn, to use the money to buy eight Ignite systems — valued at $3,800 each — for Harris County schools with large numbers of Hurricane Katrina evacuees, according to Bush and fund officials.

Steve Maislin, president of the Greater Houston Community Foundation, which is administering the $979,000 relief fund that Bush donated to, said the donation was made legally and properly.

"Mrs. Bush wanted to support the local hurricane effort," he said. "She could have done it directly. She chose to do it through here to get the word out about the fund."

While HISD has a policy that prevents the district and its schools from endorsing or promoting the "merit of a brand name or trademarked products," Houston officials defended the event

Earmarking disaster relief funds at all seems a little weird to me. Earmarking them so that, in effect, your money ends up going to your son seems....weirder. Promoting all of this at a middle school? Well, in the era of corporate snack machine sponsorship, I suppose it's just sort of inevitable.

Legal and proper or otherwise, it just doesn't seem right to me. But that's a question of personal ethics, probably. What's "right" to me isn't necessarily (or probably) what's "right" to Babs Bushie. It's probably right to support her son. It's just...kind of selfish to me. It's not like Neil's not doing alright, despite his own apparent predilection toward asian prostitutes and corporate scandal.

There's something less-than-magnanimous about giving money to a charity so that the money will be redistributed to your own family.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

This Country Needs An Enema. I Am That Enema.

Since I'm momentarily unable to post pictures, I thought I'd take the opportunity to post the Codemorse Presidential platform. Having taken a look at the democratic and republican frontrunners for 2008, there is only one conclusion I'm able to reach: they all suck. And suck hard. Like a golfball through a garden hose.

You and I both know that the concept of a third-party in modern elections is a joke (though not so much the "funny, ha-ha" kind as the "don't think about it or you'll start to quietly sob" kind). But whose fault is that? Frankly, it's yours. And mine. And everyone else's in this country. We've silently consented to a two-party system, and if I may be candid, it ain't workin' so good.

So, instead of doing your best George Romero impression come election day, why not make a stand for freethinking Americans the land over by casting your ballot for Codemorse?

Here's a brief(ish) list of my primary platform planks:

1) Mandatory siestas from noon to two pm, on every workday.
2) Replacement of the National Anthem with Bad Brains' "Kick out the jams (muthafu**as!!)"
3) The total obliteration of Fred Phelps.
4) Governmental accountability (even when it makes me look bad).
5) The public flogging of blowhard pundits including, but not limited to, Sean Hannity, Randy Rhoades, Anne Coulter, Janeane Garofalo, etc, et al.
6) The public flogging of anyone else who's into that sort of thing.
7) The private flogging of Hollywood starlets.
8) A promise to stay the hell out of your bedrooms, unless your activities include minors, family members, or the dead (Codemorse is firmly anti-sleeping-with-dead-people! You can take that to the bank!)
9) A celebrity tax, levied on every entertainer/athlete making over one million dollars a year, with all monies to be funneled into education.
10) No more shenanigans involving the oval office, interns, and slick willies.
11) More shenanigans involving jars of peanut butter, a slip n' slide, and the aforementioned Hollywood starlets.
12) Saturday night White House rock n' bowl.


I'd vote for me.

Every campaign needs a slogan. And some flashy graphics that'll look good on a car bumper. So, here's what I propose: Codemorse is holding a contest to find the winning slogan and graphic for it's campaign. The winner(s) will recieve a prize (tbd) for their efforts. Telling others about this contest will also earn you a prize of some sort. If you have friends with graphic design experience, get them involved. Use your creativity, your wit, and your free-time to contribute to the Codemorse 2008 Presidential bid. The prize will manifest itself, and is not simply a figment of my imagination. For now, let's say its a pony.

Send your entries to: morsematthew77@hotmail.com

(Multiple entries permitted. One prize awarded per individual, per category. Assorted and mind-numbingly dull legal jargon should probably go here. But it won't. Because I fucking hate that stuff. Here are some random words to fill space: Monkey Bingo Potsie Island Mango Oreo Indiana Schnitzel!)

Station Break

Experiencing some funky blog-problems. Will post when this damn magic box allows me to put pictures up.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Glennissa Explains It All Again

Glenn Greenwald Continues Making Sense:

With virtually all of the predictions made by proponents of the Iraq invasion having been proven false, with a true strategic disaster on our hands, and with most of the country having concluded that the war was a mistake, war supporters have been desperately searching around for some way to salvage their reputations. On Thursday, John Hinderaker unleashed this self-justifying plea:
In truth, we likely won't know whether the Iraq war was a success or a failure, a good idea or a bad idea, for another twenty or thirty years, when the consequences of the effort not only in Iraq, but throughout the region, become clear. For now, we can only guess.
Hinderaker's plea that we won't know for 20 years if the Iraq war was a good idea prompted me to go and read what he was saying in April, 2003, which then led me to the comments he was excitedly pointing to during that time from the likes of Charles Krauthammer, Ralph Peters, Victor Davis Hanson and other similar types who were publicly engaged in all sorts of triumphant chest-beating war dances....

If there were any intellectual honesty in our political dialogue, people like Hinderaker and Peters and Hanson would be disgraced into silence. The falsity of their factual claims and the monumental error of their judgments are tantamount to a surgeon who removes the wrong organ, or a lawyer who sleeps through a murder trial, or a journalist who invents facts for his stories. Certain errors are so fundamental, embarrassing and reflective of a deficiency in judgment and an lack of trustworthiness that they stay with those individuals as an albatross around their necks for many years -- and rightfully so, because they are so credibility-destroying.

There is real value in examining this record. Despite their humiliating mistakes and deceit, people like Hinderaker, Hanson, Charles Krauthammer and others have not been disgraced into silence; to the contrary, they are still claiming the right to dictate how we proceed with our foreign policy, both in Iraq and beyond.

This is worth noting not because this is a time for recriminations or because of the satisfaction which one can derive from a celebratory "I-told-you-so" moment. It is critical to focus on who was right about this war because this country, right now, has extremely difficult choices to make with regard to the disaster it has created in Iraq – and the first choice is whose judgment and foreign policy wisdom ought to be listened to and accorded respect. (emphasis, mine)

There are not many episodes in our national history which can compete with the invasion of Iraq in terms of the profound failures of every one of our institutions -- failures which allowed this sort of deceit and detachment from reality to persist. But until we identify those responsible and end the influence which they continue to exert over our political dialogue, we will continue to be at risk of following them down these same deceitful, destructive paths.

One of the points to emphasize here, which may not have been sufficiently clear, is that these war advocates were not content to simply run around clucking about how right they were, but were insistent that those who oppose the war admit their error and be ashamed. Here is a particularly illustrative example from Glenn "Instapundit" Reynolds, on April 11, 2003 (h/t Zack and Tom Tomorrow):
"FOR SUCH AN ADVANCED SPECIES, THEY SURE KNOW HOW TO RUB IT IN."-- Marge Simpson

Yeah, there has been a lot of pro-war gloating. And I guess that Dawn Olsen's cautionary advice about gloating is appropriate. So maybe we shouldn't rub in just how wrong, and morally corrupt the antiwar case was. Maybe we should rise above the temptation to point out that claims of a "quagmire" were wrong -- again! -- how efforts at moral equivalence were obscenely wrong -- again! -- how the antiwar folks are still, far too often, trying to move the goalposts rather than admit their error -- again -- and how an awful lot of the very same people who spoke lugubriously about "civilian casualties" now seem almost disappointed that there weren't more -- again -- and how many people who spoke darkly about the Arab Street and citizens rising up against American "liberators" were proven wrong -- again -- as the liberators were seen as just that by the people they were liberating. And I suppose we shouldn't stress so much that the antiwar folks were really just defending the interests of French oil companies and Russian arms-deal creditors. It's probably a bad idea to keep rubbing that point in over and over again.

Nah.

While I disagree with Greenwald's implicit assertion that people like Hinderaker have any real effect on, or say in, policy decisions, I do agree utterly with the soul of his point. Pundits like Hinderaker and Glenn Reynolds were not only wrong about Iraq, they were arrogant, self-righteous boobs about Iraq. It's one thing to have faith in your vision. It's another to shit all over the "anti-war folks" because they've disagreed with you. Or to claim any sort of credibility on this war when you've been so very, very wrong about the way in which it's been handled.

Whether intervention in the middle-east was/is necessary is a salient, important point to continue debating. Whether we handled this intervention correctly or even competently has been resoundingly answered in the negative.

Bush To America: "This War May End, At Some Point, But Who Can Tell? War's A Funny Thing."

From Yahoo:

WASHINGTON - President Bush said Tuesday that American forces will remain in Iraq for years and it will be up to a future president to decide when to bring them all home. But defying critics and plunging polls, he declared, "I'm optimistic we'll succeed. If not, I'd pull our troops out."

The president rejected calls for the resignation of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, chief architect of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. "Listen, every war plan looks good on paper until you meet the enemy,"

He also rejected assertions by Iraq's former interim prime minister that the country had fallen into civil war amid sectarian violence that has left more than 1,000 Iraqis dead since the bombing last month of a Shiite Muslim shrine.

Bush has adamantly refused to set a deadline for the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq. Asked if there would come a day when there would be no more U.S. forces in Iraq, Bush said, "That, of course, is an objective. And that will be decided by future presidents and future governments of Iraq."

Great. For those of you keeping score, World War II lasted four years.

How utterly convenient that our President will be ducking out before finishing what he began. And how perfectly appropriate, given his record of decisively ignoring/delaying on pretty much every major problem/disaster we've had during his tenure.

No More Kings

Since the mid-eighties, the American voting ballot has contained either a Bush, a Clinton, or both.

This pattern of monopoly appears ready to continue, as rumors circulate that Hillary Clinton is gearing up for the 2008 race, and that Jeb Bush is being groomed for the near-future as well.

No matter your politics, I find it hard to believe that anyone not currently holding power thinks that this is a good idea.

It's the democratic version of "Royalty," and it needs to stop.

When we're growing up, we're often told that anyone can grow up to be the President of the United States. For a long time it's been a running-joke that "anyone" means "white, male, anglo-saxon Protestants." That's bad enough. These days, the new joke is that "anyone" means a Bush or a Clinton.

Only, those jokes aren't funny to me. Giving us a "choice" between two families that have traded power for the past twenty-or-so years is giving us no choice at all.

Candy Is Dandy, But Liquor Is Quicker

From 11alive:

A little-known convenience store candy that is supposed to taste like marijuana is causing such a big controversy that some Georgia legislators want to make it a crime to sell it.

A state Senate committee held a hearing on Tuesday regarding the candies, which are marketed with names like Purple Haze and advertised with slogans such as, "Every Lick is Like Taking a Hit."

....The candy does not have any marijuana or THC in it, but it does contain legal hemp essential oils to give it the oily and grassy taste of marijuana.


I don't know about you all, but the thought of eating candy with the "oily and grassy taste of marijuana" sounds horrible to me. Still, that's never stopped kids from wanting to try something "forbidden." Were I a parent, I'd be concerned about these candies. Still, banning them? Why not simply make it illegal to sell in establishments that cater to minors? That would effectively ban them, while still making it possible for idiot adults to munch on candy designed to simulate a terrible taste (not that I have any idea what marijuana tastes like, of course).

Here's my favorite part of the article:

"Our message is to children to be clear and unambiguous, using drugs and alcohol is not okay for people. There's nothing clear or cool about the taste of marijuana," Loren Eischeid of the Georgia PTA told lawmakers.

Huh? Your message is to children to be clear and unambiguous? There's nothing clear or cool about it? Are we sure that Loren Eischeid hasn't been smokin' the magic dragon on the side? That makes no goddamn sense.

Scalia Opens Mouth, Inserts Foot(notes)

I've been playing catch-up with Andrew Sullivan over the last day or so and ran across this priceless gem from a few days ago. It's worth reposting:

"I had not recollected that footnote. I will -- I will find it. I don't read footnotes, normally," - Supreme Court Justice, Antonin Scalia.

I don't know about the rest of you law school grads, but my Professors used to structure entire exams around footnotes. One of them failed a classmate for his consistent refusal to read them. And I didn't even go to Harvard. Or any place close to Harvard, literally or figuratively.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Let's Get Ready To BLASPHEEEEEEEEEME!

From WFTV:

Can professional-style wrestling really be the next frontier for Christian outreach? Small bands of masked evangelists, clad in tights and armed with biblical names, argue it is. The violence and intensity of wrestling, they claim, can be the perfect way to attract the alternative, younger crowd.

At the beginning of some "Wrestling for Jesus" shows, wrestler Chase "Darkness" Cliett is strapped to a massive wooden cross on stage as piercing music is played. A group of evil wrestlers beats and bloodies him before the good guys dramatically come to his rescue. Later, after a horned fellow in a red suit is knocked out, the preaching begins.


Yes, let's use the violence and intensity of fake-wrestling to teach alternative youths about the message of Jesus Christ. After all, that whole "turn the other cheek," "love thy neighbor" stuff just isn't....!XTREME! enough for the alt-goth kids.

While we're at it, let's make a mockey of Jesus' suffering by strapping some guy who calls himself "Darkness" to a massive wooden cross. Then, let's mix our metaphors by having "evil" wrestlers beat and bloody a guy named "Darkness." Then, let's pretend any of this is remotely connected to Christianity. After all, they do use a cross!

I don't know what religion these folks are preaching, exactly, but it ain't Christianity.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Codemorse Collides With The Thief Lord


I've got a review of the new direct-to-DVD kids' flick The Thief Lord up at Collider. Here's a brief excerpt:

When The Thief Lord arrived in my mailbox, I admit to giving a little sigh of disappointment. The cover to the film sports a bevy of “photogenic” kids (one of them wearing a mask out of David Bowie’s “Dance, magic dance [Sock, magic sock?]” number), and my searing hatred for child actors raised immediate suspicions that The Thief Lord (TTL) would be the cinematic equivalent of binge-eating a dump truck’s worth of pixie stix.....Despite the overly-familiar story, I’m happy to report that TTL is a lightly engaging, relatively entertaining flick.


Read the whole review HERE.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Prozac Nation

Has anyone seen these commercials for "Relacore," the "amazing" new belly-fat-reduction drug?

They've been on late-night television for a while now, and until now, they've been just so much background noise. That is, until I caught their latest ad.

Look at this advertising:

Excess tummy flab is not your fault: That's the startling conclusion reached by scientists who discovered stress is the likely cause of stubborn belly fat. But instead of simply identifying the problem, this time they may have found the solution!

Simply stated, a bulging midsection is not your fault... it's the harmful combination of everyday stress, overeating, and excess cortisol, all conspiring to keep you overweight, tired, and thick around the middle. But now you can beat stress-induced belly fat with Relacore™, the breakthrough all-natural anti-anxiety, mood elevating pill that, in conjunction with a sensible diet and exercise program, helps control stress-induced cortisol production, thereby helping to reduce belly fat.


How goddamn creepy is THAT? An "anti-anxiety, mood-elevating pill" that bills itself as the path to losing weight? That's spooky, in-and-of itself, but wait! There's more!

There's also the fact that the drug's makers go out of their way to say that Relacore, in and of itself, will not make you lose weight. No, only a combination of a sensible diet and exercise program (things that you probably aren't doing if you're buying miracle pills off the internet/television), combined with Relacore, will "help" you lose that unslightly jiggle.

But that claim is specious at best. When "Relacore MIGHT be the perfect answer to belly fat" is written in multiple places all over your advertising, you don't have much faith in that particular aspect of your product.

And that third, creamy layer of creepiness? Why, its the drugmaker's suggestion that being fat isn't your fault. No, it's the stress, silly. You're a victim. Of your job, your busy life, your very fat. They are all "conspiring to keep you overweight." They are all against you.

And here's the creepy cherry on the sundae: Relacore will make it all just...go away. Because, even after you start taking the miracle-pill, your life will still be busy. Your job? It will still suck. Your fat? Well, unless you start dieting and exercising (and doesn't that sound like a lot of work, now that you're so relaxed all the time?) that fat's going nowhere, buddy.

But with Relacore, you'll just...adjust. Find your calm. Your inner pharmaceutically-proscribed zen.

Maybe.

They aren't making any guarantees.

Someone explain to me why weed is still illegal in this country, while the makers of Relacore can entice insomniacs nationwide to pop their magical "feel good" pills?

Anyone? Bueller?